Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Eight out of ten physicians affected by cuts

Welfare collapse

Published 16 April 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Longer waits and inferior care for Swedes, according to many doctors.

According to a survey by the Swedish Medical Association (Läkarförbundet), 81% of Swedish doctors have been affected by cuts in health care.

These include reduced opportunities for continuing education and a hiring freeze, but there is also widespread concern that the quality of care and access to care could deteriorate.

While many regions have made or plan to make cuts in health care, many of the cuts are already being felt by the country’s doctors. The survey, based on responses from some 2,000 doctors who are members of the Swedish Medical Association (Läkarförbundet), shows that 71% say they have noticed this through limited opportunities for continuing education.

In addition, 53% say they have noticed it through a halt in recruitment, while 40% have noticed it through a halt in the use of temporary staff.

– Continuing education is central to developing the business and doing the right things, Sofia Rydgren Stale, president of the Swedish Medical Association, told  the medical journal Läkartidningen. The feeling that you are at the forefront increases the certainty that you are providing good care. In the long run, this is a hugely destructive austerity measure that will have consequences for a long time to come.

“Deserves long-term leadership”

In addition, ten percent say they have already felt the cuts in the form of layoffs or redundancies at work. Nine out of ten physicians are concerned that the cuts will reduce access to care and increase patient wait times. The same number also worry that it will affect their ability to provide good care to patients.

Nearly 70% are also concerned that the cuts will make it more difficult to retain and even recruit staff, and 82% believe that it will increase staff workload to some extent.

Rydgren Stale argues that the government is currently practicing “short-term management”, where it “throws out short-term economic initiatives”. She believes that a more long-term approach is needed, as is the case with the Swedish Armed Forces.

– Healthcare deserves the same long-term management as, for example, defense or infrastructure. Of course you have to put out fires, but you can’t just focus on putting out fires.

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